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Manos Libres

Dear Sponsors
This is my first letter to you. I am Lucho Hurtado Director of  Incas del Peru. First of all, thank you for your support with building the Craft Center at el Rosario Orphanage.

We have been working with the Orphanage over the last years and we have a special arrangement and documents with the Orphanage El Rosario to be able to organize and work with volunteers in the Orphanage to the benefit of the children.

The original idea for the Craft Centre was first made with a very low budget sometime ago with a past Director.  That allowed us to fix and repair a little old adobe deposit to become the Craft Workshop. It was not big enough but it was lovely to have a place to begin. The plan was and still is to get some of the children motivated to learn crafts as an alternative way of working, to have a skill after they leave the Orphanage to help them earn a living. The Orphanages in Peru normally provide shelter, food, and schooling to the kids but do not prepare them with useful skills to use once they get to the streets when they reach 18 years of age. As a consequence the average girls and boys often end up in very bad conditions as thieves or prostitutes in many cases. 

The Mantaro Valley has a long tradition with very skilful craft people and I had the vision of this project to get the children motivated and learn a skill for life.  We organized outings to the craft villages to visit and experience the life of these good people will be really good for these children. Parallel to this plan we have been working with the artisans to volunteer as craft teachers in the Orphanage and later it may be possible to get some of the kids as part of the production group and to keep motivating the other kids to learn and appreciate traditional crafts as part of their culture.  The children are often not easy to work with as many come from traumatic experiences or abandonment so volunteers need to arrive with an open mind and a lot of patience and good will.  We have seen El Rosario change for the better in the last years and over the change of Directors.

Some years ago there were no gardens, the homes were in grey and green colours and it was very dull.  We have managed to change and fix many windows, pipes, guttering, paint units, teach the children new skills and organize some outings with our volunteers.

I was born here and have lived through difficult conditions over the years.  My business is tourism which I enjoy lots but my love and passion for my country and its people drives me to develop ideas where less fortunate Peruvians can gain some help. Working with the orphanage is not a profit making venture for Incas del Peru. We provide the contacts, ideas and low budget accommodation for the volunteers, and help with translations and contacts for those travellers who do not speak Spanish. Peru is an amazing country for its variety of culture and for many travellers it is difficult to adapt and accept the way things are, others fall in love with this place and its people from day one.

Denise came to Peru last year with a Peruvian Experience trip and while in Huancayo during the trip to the craft villages I made a quick stop over the Orphanage to introduce the group to a different experience.  Chris Arthur also came on that trip and he has since been involved also in contributing to the Orphanage and working for this exciting project I had planned sometime ago.  Denise came back to Peru with Paul and with the help of all you sponsors they have completed the Craft Work shop and on October 3rd we will have a ceremony to celebrate the finishing of the building.  This is a really nice achievement and once again I thank all of you for your donations.  I also have to thank Lukas Müller in Switzerland who donated money to get the wood for  the second floor  and to Andrée Prentice who helped with the paint.  Finally I need to thank my workers at Incas del Peru for their help with coordination, translation and work they contributed to this project, also the contractors for the construction.  As you might have seen in some of Paul's letters, not everything goes as planned, but we can view the RESULTS as you can see in the pictures.

Soon we will Integrate this craft Center to the   Directly from Peru craft people to help as volunteers to teach in the orphanage.  We will enter a different venture, this will be to teach and motivate the children to learn skills for life, with small and basic tools they will be able to produce and make a living.  Who knows where these skills with lead the children?!  Despite the challenges many people in my country face with day to day living I am always amazed at their ability to live and enjoy life.  

Once again, thanks a lot for your contribution. I would like to invite you all to visit Peru and enjoy it.
Attached to this letter you will see some pictures of the workers group that made possible the Craft Center. They all are people related to Incas del Peru and they all thank you for your contribution too.
Sincerely: Lucho Hurtado Z.
                  Incas del Peru
      Av. Giraldez 652 Huancayo-Peru
                    P.O.Box  510
                Telf:(51-64) 223303
                Fax:(51-64) 222395
          Mobile:(51-64) 964-916474